There are days, times, moments really, when I ask myself “If I had known, REALLY known, what having children entails, would I have still done it?”
Would I trade in everything I have for more down time, more me time, more free time, more freedom, more money, less “what the heck am I doing”, more sleep, etc.
Usually that question comes on the tail end of a long and busy season, like the holiday season for example. I am so wiped out. I feel like I have so little to give right now to anyone and it’s hard. These are the hard days for me. When I just want to disappear, I don’t want any demands placed on me, I wish I could just go on vacation from work by setting up an away email and not going into the office. The days where the reality of momhood weighs heavily on me.
I realize, though, that this moment in time is just that – a moment. It will be gone in a flash. My two very little children will be not so little children, then teenagers, then adults and it will simply fly by. Then I will have those days that I sometimes long for now, with little responsibility, lots of time and freedom (compared to having two very little children), and the ability to make choices based on adults and not necessarily on children. I will have the luxury and freedom to pursue my own interests with all the time in the world.
Sometimes I would love to trade in the cries and screams and poop and pee and tantrums for peace and quiet. Sometimes I want to wish away these little people and replace them with bigger people, more independent people, people who need their mama just a little bit less. Those days are coming, though, faster than I can breathe in today. Someday I won’t be needed to fill a cup or make a meal or change a diaper or get dressed. I won’t need to carry a screaming baby out to a car or wrestle a toddler into a carseat.
These days are so tiring, so exhausting. I don’t think I will really appreciate how much so until they are older. It’s like being sick for a long time – you forget what it feels like to be well. I think that’s the case with parents of very little children – you forget what it’s like to not be tired. Being tired all the time is simply normal and you push and pull yourself and move up and along. Someday I will look back and be amazed that either of us survived. I will know what it’s like to sleep all night with no worries, I won’t have to be so vigilant about everything, I won’t need to know where everyone is all the time. I will be able to trust the little people to be unsupervised and not die.
Would I do it over again? Of course I would. Even though there is so much sacrificing of myself as a mother, it has given me a fulfillment and purpose that nothing else ever has in my life. If I did not have children, I wouldn’t even know what to do with myself. It’s the hard stuff that makes the sweet moments even sweeter.
How about you? Would you do it over again knowing what you know now?